Cognitive Loan During Geometry Problem-Solving

Year: 1986

Author: Tarmizi, Rohani, Sweller, John

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Five modes of presenting geometry problems were compared. In two experiments, groups were compared in which problem-solvers were given: I) problems with the required operators indicated; 2) goal-modified (goal-free) problems; 3) conventional problems. Comparisons of test results and errors obtained, consistently suggested that while, as previously found, goal-free problems assisted schema acquisition, presenting students with the appropriate sequence of moves (the required operators), does not. It was hypothesised that this was due to goal-free problems decreasing cognitive load while the presentation of appropriate operators increases load. Three subsequent Experiments confirmed this hypothesis. Groups were given: i) conventional worked-examples; 2) modified worked-examples with all working contained within the diagram; 3) conventional problems. Results obtained indicated that following the presentation of modified worked-examples, subsequent problems required a shorter time to process with fewer errors being made.